Why writing talent isn’t enough

It sounds confusing (and perhaps impossible for a would-be applicant), but let me elaborate;

There is a lot more to the art of CV writing than most people (and most other professional CV writers) realise. It isn’t just an art form, it also involves a lot of structure, method and science. Well it does if you want the best results. Most talented writers are highly creative types. Creating is their forte. And creativity is very important in quality CV writing, but beyond this the best CV writers need to understand (and excel at) a variety of other disciplines. For example, in addition to being fully conversant with the many (and I stress many) intricacies of CV writing, the best writers also need to be able to get into the employer’s mind and tell him/her what he/she wants to hear, and do it concisely, pertinently and proactively. If your CV is a sales document, then your CV writer also needs to be an accomplished salesman (selling you on paper). If all this isn’t enough, the best CV writers also need to have knowledge and understanding of a very broad range of jobs, sectors and industries. Consequently, even excellent general knowledge is a basic prerequisite for a quality CV writer.

In the past I have sat down with some extremely talented, very intelligent people and started to show them just what is involved with writing top-quality CVs (with the intention of training them up in the art of CV writing). Surprisingly frequently they scratch their head in amazement when they find out just what is really involved when it comes to writing CVs at the very top level. There is definitely a very broad and demanding skill set required, and without a shadow of a doubt there is an awful lot more to it than the vast majority of people realise (well at least there is when it comes to writing CVs the way we write them).

Next blog entry: What else do we look for?

Paul Hichens (182 Posts)

Paul Hichens, top UK CV specialist, head of leading firm CV Succeed, and author of the most pioneering CV book in decades, The One Page CV (published by top career sector publishers Pearson Education).


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